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Wrongful Death

Riverside County Lawyer Helping People Pursue Wrongful Death Claims

The sudden loss of a loved one can shatter a person’s life. When a careless act causes a family member’s death, it can be all the more difficult to comprehend. Although no amount of money can heal the pain brought about by the passing of a loved one, compensation can help mitigate some of the surviving family member’s financial concerns. Fortunately, California’s wrongful death laws allow people to pursue claims against those that negligently cause the death of another person. 

At the Law Office of Joseph Richards, P.C., our talented Riverside County wrongful death lawyer is a compassionate, knowledgeable, and experienced advocate for grieving families. If you suffered the loss of a loved one due to someone else’s reckless behavior, you should speak to an experienced attorney regarding your rights and options. Call today to speak with a caring California wrongful death lawyer at the Law Office of Joseph Richards, P.C. at (888) 883-6588 to set up a free, strictly confidential initial consultation with an experienced Inland Empire wrongful death attorney. 

Pursuing a Wrongful Death Claim in California

Numerous scenarios can lead to a person’s untimely passing, including car accidents, physical altercations, medical malpractice, and harm caused by defective or dangerous products. Regardless of the precise cause of a person’s death, their surviving loved ones can often pursue damages from the party that caused their fatal harm. Some notable examples of accidents that can lead to wrongful death include: 

  • Auto accidents 
  • Motorcycle wrecks
  • Pedestrian collisions
  • Truck accidents
  • Fall accidents 
  • Negligent security
  • Defective products

Proving Liability in a Wrongful Death Claim in California 

Under California law, a plaintiff asserting a wrongful death claim must prove that a person died, the defendant’s negligence or intent to inflict harm caused the person’s death, and the family members left behind suffered monetary losses due to the person’s death. 

Every fatal accident requires an in-depth investigation to determine exactly what happened and exactly how the defendant’s improper actions or inactions contributed to the death. Compelling and comprehensive evidence is necessary to prove liability in a wrongful death claim. 

Each element of a wrongful death claim must be established by a preponderance of the evidence. There is no exact definition for this standard, but it is generally understood to mean that the evidence shows that something is more likely than not to be true.

Understanding Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in California 

The plaintiff must also show that a personal representative has been appointed for the deceased person’s estate. Unfortunately, not everyone who had a close relationship with the victim has the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit in California. The law limits who can recover damages in a wrongful death case. Specifically, only the deceased person’s spouse, domestic partner, children, the issue of a child whose death preceded the decedent’s can assert such claims. If the deceased person did not have a surviving spouse, domestic partner, or issue, anyone who would be entitled to their property via the laws of intestacy can pursue such claims.

The putative spouse and their children, stepchildren, or parents who were dependent on the deceased party can also pursue wrongful death claims. If a minor who is not otherwise qualified to recover damages under California’s wrongful death laws lived in the deceased person’s home for 180 days prior to their death and relied on them for at least half of their financial support, they may seek damages via a wrongful death claim as well.

What to Know About the Damages Available in a Wrongful Death Case

The law defining damages available in a wrongful death case merely states they must be just. Generally, the damages awarded in a wrongful death case aim to compensate the aggrieved parties for the economic and non-economic harm caused by the loss of the deceased person: 

  • Economic Damages in a Wrongful Death Claim: Economic damages include the financial support the person would have contributed throughout their lifetime, the loss of any household services the person would have provided, and funeral and burial costs.
  • Non-Economic Damages in a Wrongful Death Claim: Non-economic damages typically compensate the plaintiff for the intangible losses caused by the deceased person’s death, like the loss of care, companionship, affection, and the loss of the deceased person’s guidance. 

Our top-rated California wrongful death attorneys help grieving families get justice, accountability, and the maximum available financial support. 

Discuss Your Case with an Experienced Riverside Wrongful Death Attorney

Wrongful death claims are highly complex. It is never easy for grieving families to pick up the pieces and navigate the legal process after a devastating accident. Some accidents only cause minor harm, but others lead to devastating injuries that ultimately cost people their lives. If you lost a loved one due to someone else’s carelessness, you might be owed substantial damages, and it is wise for you to meet with an attorney to discuss your potential claims. At the Law Office of Joseph Richards, P.C., we help people with every aspect of the legal claims process. When you contact our firm, you will have a chance to speak with an Inland Empire wrongful death attorney who can: 

  • Hear your personal story, answer your questions, and explain your legal options. 
  • Investigate the fatal accident—securing evidence to prove liability.
  • Carefully document the impact the loss of a loved one has had on your family.
  • Handle all wrongful death paperwork and correspondence with defendants/insurers.
  • Provide comprehensive representation to get you justice and the maximum compensation.  

Call Our California Wrongful Death Lawyer for a Free, Confidential Initial Consultation

Our Inland Empire wrongful death lawyer of Law Office of Joseph Richards, P.C. is mindful of the devastation the death of a loved one can cause, and if you hire him, he will work tirelessly to help you seek a just outcome. Our offices are located in Orange and Corona, and we represent parties in wrongful death claims and other matters in Riverside and San Bernardino County and throughout Southern California. You can contact us via our online form or at (888) 883-6588 to schedule a free and confidential conference.

Disclaimer: No outcome can be guaranteed in a personal injury claim. This website is for informational purposes and no attorney-client relationship has been created.

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